New Zealand has (to date) been more vigilant at tracking down and stamping out the simple fruit fly or quarantining cattle to stop the spread of microplasma bovis that it has been in coralling Covid-19 carriers coming over the border to stop them infecting humans.
Or using privacy-breaching technical measures to track the contacts of those who have been confirmed to have the virus.
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Finally, today – after intense public urgings and behind-scenes business pressure (including from hotel operators who shared evidence with officials that many guests have been flouting their requirements to self-isolate for 14 days after coming through the border) the Prime Minister announced new enforcement measures at our international gateway airports.
Crucially, it makes no economic sense for the many small businesses which face failure in the lockdown; employees losing their jobs and large businesses which are now under intense financial pressure to try and struggle through this four-week lockdown when returning New Zealanders and permanent residents continue to present a biological threat.
That biological threat – if not constrained – will lead to many more cases of coronavirus within the community and the inevitable extension of the lockdown period, which will prolong the financial stress.
Today's moves are overdue.
In truth – and despite the prime ministerial claims that New Zealand has "gone hard and early" to clamp down on the border – Jacinda Ardern's good intentions have been mired by the many selfish people who have ignored the initial appeal for those returning from overseas to go into 14 days of self-isolation.
There has been no use of electronic tracking to ensure people are staying where they should and not putting others at risk.
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In Auckland last week, hotel operators met with health officials and agreed not to accept guests returning from overseas unless they committed for the 14-day self-isolation period.
Hoteliers have not been comfortable at being asked to effectively enforce the self-isolation period. Some have been doing so through the use of electronic security systems which can track who is going in and out of rooms. But there has been unease. The board of one company which owns major hotels in Auckland decided last night to close them because even air crews – which should know better – were selfishly thumbing their noses at the requirement to stay in self-isolation.
Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters was among those advocating that New Zealand follow Taiwan's stringent approach to corralling the spread of the coronavirus within its borders.
On March 20, Taiwan ordered its citizens and foreign residents returning home to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine in special hotels after coronavirus cases doubled to 108 in the span of one week. The country had managed to contain the outbreak, but became on edge after an influx of imported cases from foreign tourists and returning Taiwanese travellers.
Singapore is taking residents who have travelled to the UK and the US directly from the airport to hotels to serve out 14-day stay-home notices.
As with Taiwan and Singapore, travellers present a clear and present danger.
Ardern doesn't need to soft-pedal on this as she appeared to at today's press conference where she went out of her way to assure those who may be concerned that the heavier border restrictions posed a threat to New Zealand's relaxed way of life.
She said up to 10,000 New Zealanders could come home by the end of March, saying if they were symptomatic they will be tested and put in isolation in an approved facility such as a nearby hotel. Asymptomatic people without the means to self-isolate will also be put in an approved facility. Others will be subject to police checks and fined and quarantined if they do not follow instructions to self-isolate.
In my view the Government's communications efforts have been marred by a simplistic video of "celebs" making positive noises with a tag line "We've got this."
That message is demonstrably untrue while infection continues to come across the border and remain unchecked. "Let's fight this" is apposite.
The blunt truth - as some of the more earthy members of the farming community are saying - is that it does take harsh and vigilant measures to stamp out a major virus that affects animals as it has with this virus which has jumped species.
The messaging needs to be more urgent.
The Auckland Chamber of Commerce shared with me confidentially the stories of many small businesses under pressure. They are heart-breaking.
At 2am today more steps were taken to tighten the border.
It needs to be nailed down tight.